Big Q to roll-out BTO for direct buyers

Deal with Inacom said to be on the cards

Compaq is reported to be in talks with distributor Inacom over build-to-order PCs for the vendor's direct customers. Analysts claimed Compaq, which kept Inacom in its stable of US distributors after its channel cull in April, is considering buying the ability to tailor-make PCs. According to today's Wall Street Journal, the two US companies were said to be in a pow wow over a deal that would let Compaq take over some of Inacom's assembly and distribution operations. Inacom, which already customises Compaq PCs for its own customers, would expand its own build-to-order business to companies buying direct from Big Q. Two weeks ago Compaq admitted its supply chain wasn't working and ditched its channel-only policy for volume sales in the UK. Inacom marketing vice president Geri Michelic said that, while the companies were regularly in discussions, "at this point in time there is no new relationship brewing". Compaq CEO Michael Capellas also refused to confirm any talks. ® Related stories: Distributors cut to quick by Compaq Dell eats into Compaq's European sales

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